Jim Ellis Automotive Group gathers $65K for local first responders


To kick off summer, the Jim Ellis Automotive Group wrapped up a successful charitable campaign where a portion of each sale during the month of May went to support local first responders. 

Thanks to the support of old and new customers alike, a total of $65,000 was raised and is being divided evenly between 10 Atlanta-area police and fire departments.

To distribute the funds raised through this campaign, the Jim Ellis Automotive Group decided to split funds between any police and fire department that is the responding agency for each of the Jim Ellis dealerships. This means that 10 first responding agencies will receive a check for $6,500, along with a catered lunch at their department when the funds are presented.

The agencies receiving funds include:

• Chamblee Police Department

• Cobb County Fire Department

• Cobb County Police Department

• DeKalb County Fire Department

• DeKalb County Police Department

• Doraville Police Department

• Gwinnett County Fire Department

• Gwinnett County Police Department

• Marietta Fire Department

• Marietta Police Department

Going above and beyond raising funds for local first responders, Jim Ellis Automotive dealerships are hosting first responder appreciation events in each of their dealership areas. The first appreciation breakfast was held on June 22 at Jim Ellis Mazda Marietta and events are scheduled to follow over the coming months at Jim Ellis Chamblee (July 20), Kennesaw (Sept. 14) and Buford (Oct. 19).

“First responders do so much for our communities and they often do not receive the honor or appreciation that they deserve,” Jim Ellis Automotive Group president Jimmy Ellis said. “Our local first responders put their lives on the line daily for the safety and well-being of complete strangers and we wanted to do something above and beyond to show our appreciation for them.

“Many of our customers made it clear that they feel the same way as they rallied behind us to support this endeavor,” Ellis continued. “We look forward to continuing this campaign through the rest of the year as we host appreciation events at our dealerships and offer special discounts to first responders in both sales and service.”

In addition to the cash donations that will be made to the local first responders that serve their dealership areas, Jim Ellis Automotive dealerships are offering special discounts for the rest of the year to all eligible first responders.

As a token of appreciation, all qualifying first responders can take advantage of $500 off their next vehicle when purchased from Jim Ellis. That is $500 off the best negotiated price at any of the Jim Ellis dealerships.

On the parts and service side, eligible first responders will receive 15 percent off parts and service at any Jim Ellis dealership through the end of the year.

ServNet owners meet, select 7 scholarship program winners

FRANKLIN, Tenn. - 

ServNet auction owners and members of its executive team met for the group's semi-annual business meeting and a visit with national remarketers at a Meet the Owners event last month.

At the Owners' Meeting, members discussed the group's Leadership Succession, which will occur this fall.

Carolina Auto Auction’s Eric Autenrieth will assume duties as ServNet's president, and current president, Kevin Brown of Missouri Auto Auction, will be succeeded by Patty Stanley of Carolina/Indiana Auto Auction as chairman of the board.

"The dominant competitive advantage of ServNet Auctions is its dynamic Owners Group, many of whom are second- and third-generation auto auction operators. ServNet's semi-annual Owners' Business Meetings are prime opportunities for the auctions' owners, who have decades of experience and a personal investment in the industry, to discuss the challenges of the market, as well as to identify opportunities for growth and explore new methods," said ServNet chief executive officer Pierre Pons.

The group also discussed the role ServNet next generation auction owners will play in building and strengthening the independent auction group.

"While the board as it currently stands is led by first-generation owners Kevin Brown and Patty Stanley, the remaining five seats are filled by next generation owners Eric Autenrieth, Beth Barber (State Line Auto Auction), Steve DeLuca (Auto Auction of New England), Ashley Dietze (San Antonio Auto Auction) and Rob Thompson (Mid-State Auto Auction). These owners have all developed into strong, capable, visionary leaders in their own right, as they continue the pattern set by their parents in building the family businesses," said Pons. "Their participation helps ensure the vitality, longevity and strength of our organization."

Additionally, the group reviewed the impact their moves to smaller, mobile auction operations in secondary markets, as well as the impact of incentives or rebates to high volume customers on both the dealer and commercial sides of the auction business, according to ServNet.

Following the business meeting, ServNet's owners and executive staff met with Dallas-area based commercial accounts and industry partners at a Meet the Owners Luncheon.

During the luncheon, the group announced the seven winners of this year's ServNet Scholarship program for children of ServNet Auction employees attending both two- and four-year colleges.

"We were pleased to expand the scholarship program this year, adding an additional award for $2,500 for a student attending a four-year college," ServNet's Brown said in a news release. "We are very happy to announce the names of seven ServNet scholarship recipients."

Recipients of ServNet’s $1,500 scholarship for study at a two-year college include Darlene Delgado and Douglas Stack.

Delgado begins her freshman year at Glendale Community College of Arizona, where she will pursue an associate of arts degree in social and behavior science and Stack is going into his sophomore year at Corning Community College in New York, where he is a CAD major.

Recipients of the $2,500 scholarship for study at a four-year college or university include Madelyn Andrews, who attends SUNY College at New Paltz, N.Y.; Anne Dabroski of Messiah College in Mechanicsburg, Pa.; Timothy Fujii, a junior at American University in Washington D.C.; Grant Richardson, a junior at Yale University in New Haven, Conn.; and Nina Emmick, a junior at the University of South Dakota, who has been awarded a second ServNet scholarship.

Last year, Emmick, daughter of Angela Emmick of KCI Kansas City, won one of ServNet's first scholarships as a sophomore, and she is currently pursuing a degree in nursing.

"Encouraging education is vital to the health of our industry, and we're pleased that ServNet's Scholarship program will offer assistance for both two- and four-year college programs," Stanley added.

"The auction industry is as much about 'family' as it is about anything else, and we believe that ServNet's Scholarship Program is both an important way to support that family as well as an investment in our future."

ServNet said the scholarship program was established last year as an ongoing initiative to help employees and their families pursue higher education.

In January, additional information and application forms for the 2018-2019 academic year scholarship awards will be available at www.servnetauctions.com.

NIADA honors NC dealership for community service


Along with announcing its college scholarship winners, the National Independent Automobile Dealers Association named Matthews Motors as the recipient of the 2017 NIADA and Cox Automotive Community Service Award in recognition of charitable efforts which have made a notable impact in Clayton, N.C.

The award honors independent dealerships for outstanding contributions to its community and the innovative ways it helps community partners fulfill their missions

During the National Leadership Awards Banquet at the 71st annual NIADA Convention and Expo this week, the family-owned and operated dealership’s owners Steve and Dale Matthews accepted their award from Cox Automotive president of inventory solutions Janet Barnard.

"Helping shape a better world through responsible company and individual actions has long been a part of the Cox culture," Barnard said in a news release. "We commend Steve and the Matthews Motors team for embodying those principles and demonstrating how every person, every organization, every day can make a difference when it comes to serving your community."

"We're honored to receive this award and be recognized by NIADA and Cox Automotive for creating positive change in our community," Steve Matthews said. "The real reward, however, comes from the impact we've made serving the Clayton area all these years."

In addition to the award, Cox Automotive also made a $10,000 donation to Clayton Area Ministries, the dealership's charity of choice. The organization provides food, medicine and utility bill assistance with to area residents.

Matthews Motors has supported more than 15 local charities and youth programs in the past year, according to NIADA.

The North Carolina dealership has raised more than $70,000 for Clayton Area Ministries and partnered with other local businesses to raise more than $10,000 for the Southeastern Medical Oncology Center's free mammogram screenings program.

NIADA scholarship winners

Also during this week's festivities, NIADA revealed the five recipients of its 2017 Scholarship Awards during the 71st Annual NIADA Convention and Expo at The Mirage in Las Vegas this week.

Each year, the NIADA Foundation partners with Manheim to sponsor a student from each of the association's four regions who has displayed exemplary abilities in education with a $3,500 scholarship to the college or university of their choice, and a $10,000 national scholarship for a student to attend Northwood University in an automotive-related field.

Recipient of the NIADA Foundation/Manheim Scholarship to Northwood University is Ali Nasrallah, a sophomore from Midland, Mich.

He has served as Northwood's student government vice president, vice president of the investments and personal finance club and vice chairman of the university's student-run International Auto Show.

Nasrallah is a dual major in automotive marketing and management and finance, and a minor in accounting.

This year’s regional scholarship winners include Logan Brinks of Marne, Mich. from Region I, Braden Martin of Nashville, Tenn. from Region II, Riley Raynor of Enid, Okla. from Region III and Juan Carrillo of Oxnard, Calif. from Region IV.

Brinks was elected class president at Coopersville High School where he played on the football team and became a National Honor Society member.

NIADA said Brinks is considering attending the University of Michigan, where has wanted to pursue a career in the auto industry.

Raynor, valedictorian of her graduating class at Chisolm High School is interested in attending Central Oklahoma University or the University of Alabama to study pre-law, psychology and philosophy. Her list of academic honors includes the Superintendent's Honor Roll, the National Honor Society, and Oklahoma Girls State.

Carillo, who also earned valedictorian honors, participated in football, baseball and taekwondo at Channel Islands High School in Oxnard, Calif. He has served as vice president of Future Leaders of America and mentors elementary school students.

NIADA said Carillo plans to major in mechanical engineering and pursue a master’s degree in automotive technology.



Florida Ford store involved with PERQ’s $25K promotion winner


PERQ — a service provider that says it has experts in online consumer engagement and behavior to help dealers — on Wednesday announced the winner of its annual $25,000 FATWIN Sweepstakes. The recipient was a customer who shopped online through a Florida Ford store’s website.

Jose M. Hervis Garcia from Plantation, Fla., was selected from more than 171,000 eligible FATWIN entries. Garcia, his wife and two sons plan to put the money toward a house.

“This is one of the best parts of my job — watching dealership customers deploy interactive website experiences that consumers are engaged in and get value from. We devised the $25K sweepstakes to incentivize the consistent provision of quality data by consumers – which translates into higher conversions for our dealership customers,” said Muhammad Yasin, director of marketing at PERQ.

“On behalf of the PERQ team, we’re pleased to congratulate the Garcia family and wish them well as they start a new adventure in a new home,” Yasin continued.

The company said the drawing illustrates the effectiveness of PERQ’s FATWIN Trade Appraisal Plus solution. Garcia, who had visited multiple dealership websites, landed on the Sawgrass Ford website and was able to quickly go through the interactive Trade Appraisal Plus experience, answer a few questions, and get an estimated trade value for his vehicle.

As part of the process, Garcia entered the sweepstakes — and the rest is history. Now Garcia and family are shopping for a new home, and the dealership has a very happy customer.

“You always see these types of sweepstakes, but you never expect it’s going to be you or your customer that is going to be the beneficiary,” said Rob Baker, Internet sales director at Sawgrass Ford. “It’s a delight that you can put that type of happiness into someone’s life.”

Baker said the entire team at the dealership presented the oversized $25,000 FATWIN check to Garcia and his 8-year-old son.

“The money helps a lot,” Garcia said. “The kids know that this money is going to improve their lives. We are all very happy. I want to thank PERQ and Sawgrass Ford for this opportunity to find a new home.”

KAR again hosting charity auction during NIADA Convention


Along with announcing the newest addition to its national member benefit program the National Independent Automobile Dealers Association highlighted that for the fifth consecutive year, ADESA, AFC and IAA — all part of KAR Auction Services — will auction off a premier vehicle during the NIADA Convention and Expo to benefit the NIADA Foundation.

This year's vehicle is a red 2016 Nissan Frontier SV crew cab pickup with a 4.0L V6 engine, 5-speed automatic, 26,167 miles on the odometer and gray cloth interior.

The truck will be on display in the Expo Hall during the Convention, which begins Monday at The Mirage in Las Vegas. The Expo opens the next evening.

The auction will be held at 1:30 p.m. next Thursday at the NIADA Dealer Lounge in the center of the Expo Hall.

ADESA will transport the vehicle for free for the winning bidder to any location in the continental U.S.

All proceeds from the auction will benefit the NIADA Foundation, which spearheads the association’s commitment to charitable giving as well as awarding scholarships to deserving college-bound students across the nation and providing training and educational opportunities to automobile dealers and the general public.

Past foundation activities include significant donations to charities such as the Heart of a Warrior Foundation, contributions for disaster relief efforts and endowments for university scholarships.

Over the past four years, the ADESA/AFC/IAA-sponsored auctions at the NIADA Convention have raised a total of $97,200 for the NIADA Foundation. During last year's event, a 2015 Chrysler 300 Limited sold for $27,500.

Net Driven partners with NIADA

In other news, Net Driven has joined NIADA’s national member benefit program to provide association members with a variety of digital marketing solutions, from custom websites and SEO to social media and online reputation management.

Net Driven provides digital marketing services exclusively to the auto industry, working with more than 3,000 automotive businesses across North America to deliver custom, mobile-first website design, Internet marketing and SEO, social media management, call tracking and recording, online review management and more.

Net Driven's digital marketing capabilities are coupled with a 97 percent retention rate and customer support.

“Partnering with NIADA creates an opportunity for us to help its members by providing a results-driven program to achieve online success,” Net Driven general manager Eric Wellner said. “The website is just the beginning. What we offer NIADA members is a true business partner that will invest in their online success and work with them every step of the way. We don’t succeed unless they succeed. It’s that simple.”

Association members can take advantage of an immediate cost savings of up to $1,500 and a monthly savings of $25 on Net Driven's services through NIADA’s BenefitHub or by calling Net Driven directly.

Net Driven will set up a free one-on-one demo for NIADA members and offers an evaluation of their unique business needs to develop a custom solution.

“Net Driven's three-part solution is focused on one thing: results,” NIADA senior vice president of member services Scott Lilja said. “One hundred percent of what they do is focused on our industry, so we know our members are in good hands.

“Having a successful online presence today is about much more than just a website. Net Driven can provide services to help our members be present and get found online, and develop a positive and trustworthy online reputation,” Lilja went on to say.

For more information or to request a free personal demo, call (877) 860-2005 or visit .

NIADA CPO program gets boost from eBay Motors

Furthermore, NIADA said it has launched an enhancement to its Certified Pre-Owned program, powered by eBay Motors.

The improved NIADA CPO program can enable independent dealerships to effectively manage and merchandise inventory, which can help increase sales, profits and inventory turn.

 For eBay shoppers, the NIADA CPO program will continue to add quality inventory and instill purchasing confidence from reputable independent dealers.

“Through this improved NIADA CPO program, we're continuing to supply auto dealers with the tools and technology that support enhanced inventory management and lead generation," eBay Motors general manager of vehicles Tony Hoang said.

 “We constantly focus on offering buyers the best selection and a convenient, secure experience. Working with NIADA dealers provides buyers additional peace of mind and access to a large selection of certified pre-owned vehicles from trusted independent auto dealers,” Hoang continued.

This strengthened CPO program can give more power to dealers who manage listings on eBay Motors by providing tools that:

—Efficiently export CPO inventory to third-party digital marketing auto portals, including dealers' own websites.

—Process and print standardized buyers guides and window labels.

—Report inventory movement and pricing trends.

The NIADA CPO program’s new merchandising platform can offer value to dealerships and can help drive increased inventory turnover, online lead traffic, market intelligence and cost reductions and efficiencies.

“This new platform builds on the success of previous initiatives of the NIADA Certified program,” Lilja said. "Through this enhanced digital platform, NIADA member CPO program clients will gain increased insights to traffic and inventory leads, which we believe will lead to increased sales.”

For more information, call (877) 310-0288.

Online auction to host Mustangs vs. Camaros sale


Speed Digital announced it will partner with HemmingsPRO Auctions to host a battle more than 50 years in the making: Mustangs versus Camaros. 

On May 26, the new partners will bring collectors and enthusiasts a Mustangs versus Camaros sale, the first of a series of monthly themed, timed online auctions.

This event will help settle the long-standing rivalry between the two sporsts car brands and determine which American classic is truly most popular, Speed Digital said. 

"We look forward to bringing this unique auction format to millions of Mustang and Camaro fans," Speed Digital president Neil Pitt said in a news release. "It will be exciting to see which fan base has a stronger showing. Will a Mustang or Camaro bring in the highest winning bid? Will more Mustangs find new homes or will it be Camaros? Only time will tell, but it will be fun to watch it all unfold on May 26."  

Mustangs and Camaros from 1964 to 2017 will be included in the auction and all inventory will be provided by dealers within Speed Digital's Dealer Accelerate network.

Interested buyers can currently bid at . The timed online auction will close on the night of May 26.

During the live auction, a 2017 Petty's Garage King Premier Edition Mustang powered by a 5.0L V-8 engine producing 825 HP will be auctioned off at 7 p.m.

The customized car signed by Richard Petty himself comes in the Petty's Garage signature limited "ghost series" black and silver paint scheme. According to Speed Digital, the proceeds from the sale of the car will go to charity.

"The Petty's Garage Mustang won't be the only vehicle drawing interest during the Mustangs vs. Camaros online auction. You would be hard-pressed to find more premier Mustangs and Camaros in another auction," Speed Digital added. "Two of the most sought-after vehicles that will have bidders reaching for their wallets include a 1969 Ford Mustang estimated to go between $236,000 and $355,000 at the auction and a 2015 Chevrolet Camaro COPO."

Other sought after cars include the 1968 Shelby GT500, the 1970 Ford Mustang Boss 302 and the 1969 Chevrolet Camaro SS, which are estimated to go for $133,000 to $187,000, $99,000 to $134,000 and $90,000 to $122,000, respectively, according to Speed Digital.

For more information about the upcoming auction email [email protected] or visit .

AutoNation celebrates 11 million vehicles sold with van donations


In celebration of reaching a record-breaking 11 million vehicles sold, AutoNation announced that it will donate four Chrysler ProMaster passenger vans to community partners who work to fight cancer.

“AutoNation is the first and only retailer in the history of the automotive industry to reach this milestone,” the retailer said.

On Friday, AutoNation announced it gave away its first van to the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Fla. The center is ranked No. 6 on U.S. News & World Report's Best Hospitals for Cancer list.

AutoNation said it will donate the other three vehicles to the Nevada Children's Cancer Fund in Las Vegas, Brent's Place in Denver and the American Cancer Society Road to Recovery of South Florida.

In 2013, after recognizing the impact that cancer has on its customers and associates, AutoNation directed all of its charitable efforts to support cancer-related organizations, according to the retailer.  

AutoNation said it has committed and raised nearly $11 million to fight cancer.

Additionally, the retailer announced that it will also be surprising one customer in 11 of its markets by releasing them from their contracts and handing them the keys to their vehicles, payment free.

"The extraordinary accomplishment of being the first automotive company to sell 11 million vehicles is an opportunity to show our appreciation to those who work hard every day in the fight against cancer and to our customers who have made this historic moment possible," AutoNation chairman and chief executive officer Mike Jackson said in a news release.

In recognition of both its commitment to community well-being and its fight against cancer, AutoNation was recently named one of the nation’s top 100 Corporate Citizens by Forbes Magazine and Just Capital, according to the retailer. 

Sheehy Auto kicks off fundraiser for American Heart Association


Sheehy Auto Stores has launched its 20th annual Sheehy 8000 sales event, a three-week community-wide effort to raise funds for the American Heart Association, the group announced on Friday.

Throughout the rest of the month, each of Sheehy Auto's dealerships throughout Washington, D.C.; Richmond, Va.; and Baltimore will host a variety of initiatives in support of the fundraiser before it wraps up on July 5.

"This year is a milestone for us as we continue our mission to raise awareness and funds for a cause that is close to many of our hearts," Sheehy Auto president Vince Sheehy said in a news release.

"We are thankful for our customers, communities and team members who rally behind this effort, making each year's campaign more successful than the last."

Sheehy Auto said this year’s campaign includes healthy cooking demonstrations, blood pressure screenings and CPR training for employees and the community across all of its locations.

"The support of Sheehy Auto Stores has allowed us to make a considerable impact on the health of our communities in the region," American Heart Association vice president of marketing Michelle Nostheide said. "We appreciate the generosity of their team members, customers and vendors, and their efforts towards workplace wellness. Together, we can lessen the burden and loss heart disease and stroke cause for so many families." 

Last year's Sheehy 7000 campaign raised $225,000 for the American Heart Association, according to Sheehy.

Additionally, the dealer group said it has been a several year sponsor of the charity’s National Walking Day, which was held last month at Springfield Town Center in Virginia. Each of Sheehy's dealerships also hosted individual step challenges among employees on the day of the walk.

Sheehy Auto said it has raised a total of more than $40 million for community and non-profit organizations since it was founded in 1966.

Roundup: Auction golf tournament & anniversary sales events

CARY, N.C. - 

Last week, Southeastern Auto Auction of Savannah hosted its annual Masters Sale and golf tournament, which is named after The Masters golf tournament that is held in Augusta, Ga., just a few hours away from the auction. 

This year’s Masters Sale featured over 800 vehicles, and by the end of the sales event, the auction gave away over $2,500 in cash prizes, according to SAA.

To wrap up the sale, dealers were selected to putt on the auction’s putting green for a chance to win up to $1,000. 

The day following the sale, the auction’s golf tournament featured a record number of teams as well as a $25,000 hole-in-one challenge and longest drive contest.

Additionally, from hole sponsorship funds for the event, the auction raised a donation of $3,000 to present Shriners Hospital for Children following the tournament.

“It was a great week!  We sold a lot of cars, had beautiful weather for the sale and golf tournament, and raised money for Children in need,” SAA vice president Bill McCready said in a news release.

Carriage Trade AA turns 40

Carriage Trade Public Auto Auction will host its 40th-anniversary sale on May 22, which will feature an estimated 1,000 vehicles along with a number of prizes and giveaways, the auction recently announced.

“We’re excited about this milestone anniversary and are looking forward to celebrating with the people that have made it possible, our customers and our employees,” Carriage Trade general manager Brian McNally said in a news release. 

In May of 1977, Carriage Trade held its first sale with a total of just 35 vehicles, the auction said.

Currently, the auction sells on average about 500 cars each week, according to Carriage Trade.

For more details about the auction's sale, visit .

Fleet service CEO transitions to lead board & foundation

COMMERCE, Colo. - 

Hourglass Management Corporation (HMC) recently announced that its chief executive officer, Ron Shoemaker, will transition to board chairman.

His son, Chad Shoemaker, who joined the company in 2009 and has served as president since 2011, will assume the role of chief executive officer.

“It is a great pleasure that we announce the promotion of Chad to CEO of our companies. For the past 8 years Chad has embraced our business models and added tremendous value to our company’s visions. His attention to detail is second to none and we are all very excited to continue our journey with Chad as CEO,” Ron Shoemaker said in a news release.

As chairman, Shoemaker will still be active in all of the businesses. HMC said he will mostly be working on a new non-profit venture, the Hourglass Foundation, which he co-founded with his son.

According to HMC, the Hourglass Foundation aims to serve at the local and individual levels by working with grassroots organizations to help them reach their goals and fill immediate needs.

“The foundation supports those who have experienced life-altering or traumatic events in their lives,” Shoemaker said.

“Our passion is to mentor and strengthen individuals by providing opportunities and a support network for life advancement. To achieve our mission of ‘Lifting others, one person at a time,' we support nonprofit organizations that provide educational, financial and spiritual renewal to those in need at the individual level.”

The work the foundation has already done includes donating a Dodge mini-van to a center for at-risk middle school and high school girls in Pensacola, Fla.

HMC said “the van provides safe transportation to events for these young women and allows them to participate in activities that were not accessible previously.”

Funding for the foundation is in part supported by vehicle donations from companies and individuals.

Additionally, HMC announced that Janet Smail will serve as the foundation’s executive director.  She brings over 17 years of experience, having held a variety of management roles at Flexco.

“Janet is well-positioned to advance the Foundation’s agenda and professionally handle any of the challenges that lie ahead,” HMC added.

For more details about The Hourglass Foundation visit, .